Monday 29 June 2015

Lillian on Life - Alison Jean Lester


Lillian, a single, well-travelled woman of a certain age, wakes up next to her married lover and looks back at her life. It's not at all the life she expected. Walking the unpaved road between traditional and modern options for women, Lillian has grappled with parental disappointment, society's expectations and the vagaries of love and sex. As a narrator she's bold and witty, and her reflections - from 'On Getting to Sex' to 'On the Importance of Big Pockets' or 'On Leaving in Order to Stay' - reverberate originally and unpredictably.

In Lillian on Life, Alison Jean Lester has created a brutally honest portrait of a woman living through the post-war decades of change in Munich, Paris, London and New York. Her story resonates with the glamour and energy of those cities. Charming, sometimes heartbreaking, never a stereotype, Lillian is completely herself; her view of the world is unique. You won't soon forget her.

What did I think?

This was a really unusual book; I almost felt like I was reading Lillian's diary as we're privy to her innermost thoughts and observations.

I felt that Lillian has been unlucky in love and it takes her several failed relationships to finally realise what it is that she is looking for. Her Mother couldn't hide her disappointment that Lillian was 35 and unmarried, something that wouldn't get the bat of an eyelid these days.  Despite her judgemental Mother, Lillian has a loving and comfortable relationship with her Dad who she affectionately calls Poppa.

There are some wonderful lines and anecdotes in the book but I don't want to release any spoilers here!  Lillian is a smart modern lady who would not be out of place as a young woman in the 21st Century.  She was not afraid to travel the world at the end of the war, meeting new and interesting people along the way.

It's a book that made me laugh and also made me feel sad at times, a true observation of life with all its ups and downs. I absolutely whizzed through this book and it's a book I will pick up again and again to fully appreciate the wise words of Lillian.  

I received this book from the publisher via Bookbridgr in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:

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